Oriental Fire-Bellied Toads Care Sheet
Common names: Oriental Fire-Bellied Toad, sometimes called the Tuti Toad
Scientific Name: Bombina orientalis
Description: Oriental Fire-Bellied Toads have a green dorsum with black markings and bright orange bellies on their undersides. This brightly coloured belly is the reason behind their descriptive name.
Size: Oriental Fire-Bellied Toads average at about 5cm (2inch)
Life span: Oriental Fire-Bellied Toads can live 10-15 years.
Origin: Oriental Fire-Bellied Toads are native to China, Korea and Siberia.
Habitat: Oriental Fire-Bellied Toads live in rice paddies and mountain streams in humid, forest areas. They like plenty of vegetation and are semi-aquatic.
Things to consider when purchasing your first Amphibian
• Who will look after your new pet if you are away?
• Can you obtain food easily from your local pet shop?
• Can you comfortable with feeding live insects as food?
• Can you handle the live food to feed your pet?
• Is the rest of the family happy to live with an amphibian?
Temperament: Oriental Fire-Bellied Toads are a very active species of toad, so they make great pets. They are great first amphibians, because they are relatively easy to care for. Oriental Fire-Bellied Toads can be housed together with other Fire-Bellied Toads, but do not co-habit them with other species. Oriental Fire-Bellied Toads secrete a toxin from their skin that can harm other amphibians with prolonged exposure.
An Aquarium or glass vivarium will be needed to house your Oriental Fire-Bellied Toads. Oriental Fire-Bellied Toads are semi-aquatic and need a 50/50 split within their tank, with half being covered with a burrowing substrate, while the other being a water area. They are good at escaping, so care should be taken to ensure your tank has a tight fitting lid.
Your terrarium should contain:
A coco husk substrate, sandy top soil or compost (without fertilisers), sphagnum moss, peat, live moss and a selection of live plants will help increase the humidity in the setup (see plant list in the forum). Never use gravel in your Oriental Fire-Bellied Toad’s terrarium, as they can become impacted if they ingest it.
Set-up tips can also be found on the forum.
Half the terrarium should be dedicated to providing adequate water for your Oriental Fire-Bellied Toads. The water should be changed daily to avoid the build up of bacteria, unless a filter can be provided to keep the water clean. Water should be around 10-15cm in depth (4-6inch) or no more than the height of your toads at rest. A ramp or stones near the division between the burrowing substrate and water will help your toads to leave the water.
De-chlorinated or bottled spring water should always be used as Fire-Bellied Toads are really sensitive to various chemicals and can not handle water with Chlorines and chloramines in. Oriental Fire-Bellied Toads like most amphibians will soak up water through their skin and since their water bowl is used as the main place to defecate it is important that it is cleaned regularly.
A place for your Oriental Fire-Bellied Toad to hide and climb
All amphibians require somewhere to hide and may become stressed if this is not provided. This could be a plant pot on its side, which is low cost but easily cleaned if it becomes soiled. Logs and cork bark make good natural looking additions to your terrarium and make great hiding places.
Plants and stones can also be used. Stones or branches from the wild need to be debugged by soaking first in sterilizing solution, rinsed thoroughly, soaked in clean water, then left to dry in the sun. Some live plants may be harmful to your Oriental Fire-Bellied Toad, if in doubt please see the list of safe plants which can be used in the forum.
A change of scenery
Oriental Fire-Bellied Toads are very inquisitive animals and like to explore new surroundings. Once in a while change the layout of the terrarium; this will keep your Oriental Fire-Bellied Toad from becoming bored. You will notice once you put your Oriental Fire-Bellied Toad back in the tank it will start to re-explore its new surroundings.
Oriental Fire-Bellied Toads require the humidity to be kept quite high, but it is also vital to have sufficient ventilation.
To keep the humidity at the correct level a large water bowl and regular misting with de-chlorinated water from a spray bottle is necessary.
A hydrometer should be used to monitor humidity levels in your terrarium.
The ideal temperature for your Oriental Fire-Bellied Toads is a temperature gradient of 24-26°C (75-78°C) with a slight temperature drop at night or 2 or 3 degrees.
Heat should be provided using either a heat mat with thermostat, or aquarium heater with built in thermostat. Heat mats should only cover between a third and a half of the floor space to allow your Oriental Fire-Bellied Toad to thermo regulate. If an aquarium heater is used to warm the water side, then a heat mat is not necessary in the borrowing side.
Never use heat lamps or basking lamps for amphibians, as these can cause your Oriental Fire-Bellied Toads to dehydrate.
It's useful to have a small thermometer on either end of the terrarium to check the temperature. One end should be around 24°C and the other around 26°C. Your Oriental Fire-Bellied Toads will thermo-regulate by moving around the tank.
Oriental Fire-Bellied Toads should be fed 2-3 times a week with a varied diet of appropriately sized gut loaded insects, including locusts, crickets, earthworms, spiders and flies. They will also take waxworms, but this should be considered as a treat item. Feed 3 or 4 insects per Oriental Fire-Bellied Toad per feeding. The live food should be dusted with calcium and vitamin supplements once a week.
Oriental Fire-Bellied Toads should never be fed anything with hard shells, such as mealworms, beetles and Woodlice, as they would struggle to digest the tough exo-skeletons.
The fiery orange belly of the Fire-Bellied Toad is made more vibrant when your toad has carotene in it’s diet. Gut-load your live insects with carrot peelings or sweet potatoes to keep your Fire-Bellied Toads belly brightly coloured.
Oriental Fire-Bellied Toads do not need additional UV, as natural day light should be sufficient to keep your toads happy, although you may find the live plants in your terrarium will die without any light. A fluorescent UVB tube is ideal as it won’t give out any heat and will help the plants thrive.
Your Oriental Fire-Bellied Toad’s terrarium should be inspected and spot cleaned daily when changing the water. Every two to three weeks clean out the tank completely and sterilise using a reptile/amphibian friendly disinfectant. Sterilise any décor and carefully remove any live plants to replace when the tank has been cleaned. The water side of the tank also needs to be emptied, cleaned and refreshed with fresh de-clorinated water.
Your Oriental Fire-Bellied Toads should be moved to a temporary tank whilst being cleaned and care must be taken to make sure no chemicals are used in the cleaning process, as these can harm your toads.
Oriental Fire-Bellied Toads have delicate skin and secrete a toxin when threatened that can be an irritant to your skin. Regular handling is not recommended, but if necessary wear gloves, this will protect both you and your toads, which are sensitive to many chemicals that may be on your hands, such as washing up liquid, soap residue, hand cream etc.
When cleaning your terrarium you can safely remove your Oriental Fire-Bellied Toads to another tank using an aquarium net usually used for pet fish.
Males can be distinguished easily during the breeding season, as they will call for a mate.
The breeding season occurs in Spring, with spawning occurring only 10-24 hours after mating.
150-200 eggs are typical per spawning and these will hatch within 2 days.
The adults should be separated from the spawn as soon as possible to avoid them eating the eggs.
The newly hatched larvae can be fed on Tubiflex or Fry food, until they are big enough to eat adult food. Oriental Fire-Bellied Toads are generally mature at 12 months old.
A great book for starters and more advanced keepers alike, covers facts, general care, housing, feeding, breeding and more.
Other questions about the Oriental Fire-Bellied Toad
If you have any other questions why not join The Amphibian Forum and ask one of the many experienced keepers, the reason this website was set up was so people in the amphibian keeping hobby could share their experiences with others about amphibian care and all other aspects of the hobby.